The Texas Baptists are kicking out a Dallas church that voted to perform gay marriages
A Dallas church voted to let LGBT people become full participants in the church and it is now facing being removed from the denominational body.
Wilshire Baptist Church voted 577 to 367 to let LGBT people become members, lay leaders, potential clergy and brides and grooms.
The moment the results came in, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, commonly called the Texas Baptists, started proceedings to remove their affiliation with the church.
The Washington Post reported that a young member of the congregation said: “You performed the wedding of my parents in this church. If I fall in love and want to get married, my question is, will my church community support me?”
Rev George Mason said: “It became increasingly difficult for me to justify, as I kept looking in the eyes of people that I loved and seeing the presence of Christ in them, and as I honestly looked at the Scripture and realised that it was not as clear as I thought it was”.
In the run up to the vote 250 members of the church sent letters to all the other members calling for them to vote against allowing LGBT people to receive equal treatment.
The church also received a letter from the Texas Baptists warning that they would be kicked out if the vote was won in favour of inclusion.
A spokesman told the Washington Post: “All Texas Baptists are loving, respectful and welcoming to all people. But while we are welcoming, we are not affirming”.